Does Constituency Size Affect Elected Officials' Trade Policy Preferences?
Article first published online: 11 APR 2007
Journal of Politics
Volume 69, Issue 2, pages 483–494, May 2007
How to Cite
Karol, D. (2007), Does Constituency Size Affect Elected Officials' Trade Policy Preferences?. Journal of Politics, 69: 483–494. doi: 10.1111/j.1468-2508.2007.00545.x
- Issue published online: 11 APR 2007
- Article first published online: 11 APR 2007
- Manuscript submitted 25 May 2006Manuscript accepted for publication 3 September 2006
Scholars have long argued that Presidents are less protectionist than Congress while Senators are less so than Representatives due to their larger constituencies. Yet until now this theory has escaped scrutiny. I argue that it is based on a misguided view of trade policy as distributive politics. I show via a series of tests that the theory is untenable. Unlike their differences in constituency size, the pro-trade leanings of the Presidency and Senate are postwar phenomena. Even now state size is unrelated to Senators’ votes on trade. In tests pooling legislators from both Houses, chamber membership predicts votes while constituency size generally does not. Senators are even less protectionist than Representatives with identical constituencies.